One of the REI Foundation’s missions is to support conservation efforts aimed at youth and families across the country. The foundation recently awarded a $110,000 grant to the National Audubon Society to fund research and future programs in Latino communities.

The Audubon Center at Debs Park in East Los Angeles, Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center in Seattle, and the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix will be the recipients of the grant funds.  

“Nature centers have a rich history of forging bonds and creating enduring impacts on the people they reach. While Latino traditions enthusiastically embrace the outdoors, many nature-oriented organizations in the country lack the cultural insights, language skills, and community connections to effectively involve Latino individuals and families in experiential and conservation programs.”  Source: CSRWire

Audubon Center at Debs Park

In 2003, the Audubon Center at Debs Park in East Los Angeles, Calif., was awarded LEED Platinum certification. The facility uses water-efficient landscaping, low-VOC products, locally sourced materials, and onsite renewable energy. These eco-friendly measures were just a few of the many options used to help the facility earn the LEED Platinum rating.

The organization offers family bird-watching walks in Spanish, Film Fridays and a bilingual summer camp. The facility is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is free. The Audubon Center at Debs Park is located at 4700 North Griffin Ave. For more information, call (323) 221-2255.

Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center

The Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center is located at 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S in Seattle, Wash.  Right now, the center is featuring its guided Bat Talk & Walk, which is held the second Wednesday of each month through September.  

The center is also hosting summer nature day camps between June 29 and Aug. 21. The camps are designed for children aged 10-14, and registration information can be obtained by calling the center at (206) 652-2444.

The Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center is also available in the social media realm – you can follow the organization on Twitter @sewardaudubon.

Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center

The newest Audubon location in the Phoenix metropolitan area is still under construction. The estimated completion date is July 15 and the facility will be located at Central Avenue and the Salt River (Rio Salado) in Phoenix.  One of the center’s focuses will be the importance of water in the desert. Phoenix sits in the middle of the Sonoran Desert and water conservation is of the utmost importance.

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service